July 29, 2016

Welcome to my new bi-annual post. :)

What have I been doing in the last 6 months that has kept me away from posting? A lot of difficult problem solving, like chasing random clicking noises, warranty and recall issues, a ton of non-standard builds, etc. Besides the work at the my shop, I’ve been busy with my teaching duties and a bunch of industry-related translation.

All that work is paying off though. I’ve just been invited to Eurobike to tag along with a Japanese distributor as a translator. As such, the shop will be closed from August 29th thru September 3rd.

If you have an upcoming race or event and want to get your bike checked out or tuned, please keep these dates in mind.

On to more interesting stuff…


I just came back from the Cervelo show. Nothing really ground-breaking, but there were a couple cool builds such as the one pictured above left. This is the Cervelo C3 with a SRAM Force 1x group. If you look closely you’ll see that there’s no front derailleur and that the bike only has one chainring. This is an interesting trend. Maybe it’ll stick, maybe it won’t. Details in English on Cervelo’s main page here.

Along those lines, Easton announced that they were re-entering the crank market. Their latest crank is also a single “1x” crank called the EC90SL (pic, above right). I’m a huge fan of Easton components. (not so much a fan of their wheels, but that’s another story.) The stems, bars, forks, etc. are all really well made and precise, built to last, relatively light weight and priced fairly reasonably. It would be cool to put these cranks on a new build sometime. English links to Easton’s main page here. A more detailed review over at Bike Rumor, here.

Lastly, something I needed to get off my chest. If you’re considering a wheel build or a new set of wheels, one word of advice, stay away from alloy nipples. Yes, they’re lighter (a whole 20g or so per wheel), and you get to choose cool colors (brown, really?), but there’s not much written on the internet about their main disadvantage, corrosion. My problem, and therefore my customers’ problem, is that after a few years, the nipples degrade and when it comes to straightening or re-tensioning a wheel, the nipple crumbles. Sure, all I need to do is to replace the nipple, but in recent years, nipples have also become very specialized, and more often than not, that special nipple needs to be special ordered which can take weeks or months, as these nipples are not readily available through the major Japanese distributors. I have yet to find a domestic supplier of DT Squorx or Sapim Hexagonal alloy nipples. I’ve had to source these from abroad, which takes time and shipping charges are crazy. Yes, these nipples only cost like 50yen per piece, but standard shipping is usually like 2,000-3,000yen, not cool.

These are pics of a recent nightmare repair that was supposed to be a “simple” wheel truing.


The pic on the left: all the remains of the alloy nipple that crumbled during tensioning. Notice all the pretty corrosion. /s
The pic on the right: (from left to right) a new brass nipple, an alloy nipple that actually came out, and an alloy nipple that sheared during removal.

Am I over-thinking this? Maybe… but to back up my argument, ENVE has even switched from alloy to brass nipples on ALL their wheels. There was a press release about this a while back, but I can’t find it. You’ll just have to trust me.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, and see you in December for my next post…

just kidding…







先日、東商会さんの展示会に行きました。色々の取り扱いの中から今回はCervelo社とEaston社の新商品を紹介したいです。まずは、左上の画像。Cervelo C3 スラムフォースX1の完成車。珍しいと思ったのは、FDが付いていない。そして、チェーンリングは1枚のみ。最近CX、MTBでは流行っていますよね。ロードでも通用しますかね、いつか試してみたいです。Cervelo C3のもっと詳しくはこちらをご覧下さい。日本国内代理店のリンクです。英語のリンクは英語の文書の中のリンクへどうぞ。

似たような感じで、同じ展示会にEaston社の新商品。「1x」規格のクランクセット。「1x」って日本語でどう読むのかな~。英語なら”One by”(ワン・バイ)って言いますけどね。フロントシングルと言っても意味が多少違います。1xはシングル用チェーンリングの特殊加工(チェーンが落ちない様)を示している。

こちらのクランクは期待大!結構な軽量化で噂により剛性も有るらしい。見た目も好みです。詳しくは、今の所、Easton JapanのFacebookのみ見たいです。リンクはこちら











January 3, 2016


Happy New Year! Hoping everyone has a happy and healthy 2016!

Above left is a pic of a frame welded by one of my students, Manabu Takahashi over at Schmitt Bikes. It was sort of a collaboration project. I say sort of, because all I did was supply the ALPHA logo. He did all the rest of the work, the welding and the parts build. I wish I had more pics and closeups as the work was very intricate and beautiful. If you’re interested it will be on display at the…

2016 Handmade Bicycle Show
held at the Japan Science Museum, Tokyo
(near the Imperial Palace and Budokan)
January 23-24, 2016
Admission is FREE!

The above right pic was a recent project. A customer had a new set of TRP’s HY/RD disc brake calipers on his road/CX bike. These brakes are cable actuated, so they work with standard STI shifters and wires, but the brake pads are hydraulically operated. Quite ingenious and the guys over at road.cc agree (review, here). In combination with these disc brakes, we spec’d Shimano’s top of the line SM-RT99 rotors with the new radiator fins for increased cooling. The problem with this combination was that the fins were so big that they rubbed against the brake body. One solution would have been to add some spacers to position the brake body further away from the fins. I wasn’t really keen on doing that for a number of reasons. Instead, I proposed grinding away the small portion of the fin that was rubbing and this was the end result. Structurally it shouldn’t be a problem but I guess we’ll see what happens during the next few races later on this month. If it works out, I will offer this service at the shop.

Along those lines… 2016… the UCI trial of disc brakes on road bikes. It’s been talked about a lot, but I’m throwing in my two cents. I’ve been working on hydraulic and mechnical MTB disc brakes for as long as they’ve been available. Within the past year, I’ve worked a bunch of disc equipped road bikes and I’ve come to a couple conclusions. For normal riding, touring or commuting, disc brakes are way better than the current standard of rim brakes. So while some people, like this guy, make a very good argument for buying a disc road bike, I still think people should hold off, especially if you’re racing. Why?

My problems at the moment with road discs:
1. Nothing has been standardized.
At the moment there are at least 5 different hub/axle combinations, none of which are compatible with each other. The most familiar of these is the standard quick release (QR) hub axle. Slowly though, they are thinking of phasing out QR’s for a new-ish technology called a thru-axle (TA). (YouTube video explaining the difference here) Because none of these are compatible with each other, if your frame/fork is built for QR you can only use QR wheels. So if you buy an expensive pair of QR wheels to fit that bike, there is a possibility that in 2-3 years the “standard” will change and that your next bike will only be TA compatible, forcing you to buy another set of wheels.
Aside from this, there are at least 3 different caliper mounting standards, and numerous rotor sizes. Nothing has been finalized yet, but they’re leaning towards, 160mm rotors front and rear with 12mm thru-axles as mentioned here, in this interview with the UCI technical manager.  http://cyclingtips.com.au
2. Disc brakes aren’t idiot-proof, yet.
The biggest problem with current road discs is that every time you pull a wheel off and put it back on again, you’ll need to make an adjustment to the brake, as it will inevitably rub. The reason for this is that the brake pad tolerances are too tight. In order for a disc brake to work well, the ideal gap between the rotor and the brake pad is currently around 0.1~0.5mm. When you put a wheel back on to a bike and close the QR or TA lever, the wheel will most likely move by more than this, causing the rub and the need for adjustments. On a rim brake bike, this adjustment was easy, as you could push the whole brake to one side by hand, eliminating the rub, in less than a few seconds. But with disc brakes, this adjustment will require tools and a lot more time.
There was an interesting “Ask Me Anything” over on Reddit with a UCI team mechanic who also said the same thing. Link here: https://www.reddit.com

There are a lot of other issues that I haven’t mentioned as this post would get really long. But to summarize, until they decide on a real “standard” for the disc wheel hub and they make wheel changes faster and easier, I’m holding off on buying a disc road bike, for now.

But like I said, if you’re not racing or have no need to buy multiple sets of wheels, then by all means buy a disc road bike. There’s plenty of nice ones to choose from, and there are usually workarounds and adapters to a lot of these problems.

Wow, a lot longer than I planned. Any questions or comments please email. As always, thanks for reading!





November 1, 2015

Real quick. This week I will be available on Tuesday, Nov. 3 (Culture Day). I have a couple appointments already, but still have some slots left.

However, I will NOT be available this coming Saturday, Nov. 7. I’ll be at “Cycle Mode” (the annual big bike show in Makuhari) and more importantly the “Starlight CX” race that is running concurrently with Cycle Mode.

I should be back at the shop on Sunday, but please call or email ahead. Thanks.




June 17, 2015

Off to America to do mechanic work for The Race Across America. If you’re interested you can follow our progress over on

During the race I will have very limited access to a computer/email. All emails received during the race will most ikely be replied to after I get back to Japan. Sorry if this causes and inconvenience.

Wish us luck! Thanks for reading.


Race Across America 2011 RAAM is a 3,000-mile single-stage cycling race across America. From the start in Oceanside, California, to the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland, RAAM athletes & crews race around the clock in an endurance challenge unlike any other.  I followed the RAAM adventures of British 4-man team Crank Addicts' as they charged across thirteen States to reach the finish line in just 6 days and 3 hours.  All images © Nick Scott Photography



May 27, 2015


Above left is the new flyer concerning changes to the bicycle safety laws in Japan.
They will take effect starting June 1, 2015.

Technically, these laws aren’t new. They are your standard bicycle safety rules as listed below. What will change is the enforcement of these rules, (which the police haven’t been too strict about up until now) and the new law concerning habitual offenders.

The habitual offender law states that anyone ticketed more than twice for any offenses listed below within a span of 3 years will be required to attend a 3-hour bicycle safety course at a cost of 5,700yen within 3 months of the last offense. Failure to attend the safety course will result in a 50,000yen fine.

Ticketable offenses include:
(loosely translated)
1. Running through red lights
2. Riding where prohibited by signs
3. Not yielding to pedestrians on sidewalks
4. Riding on non-designated sidewalks
5. Impeding pedestrian traffic
6. Illegal railroad crossings
7. Impeding other vehicles at intersections
8. Not following right-of-way at intersections
9. Not following right-of-way at roundabouts
10. Running through stop signs
11. Not allowing pedestrians right-of-way
12. Riding without front and rear brakes
13. Riding under the influence, drunk
14. Any behavior deemed unsafe or unlawful

Like I said, most of these are common sense. Not common sense are #4 and #14.

#4 “Riding on non-designated sidewalks” is a tricky one.  Most of my Japanese friends don’t really understand this one. Designated sidewalks (where bicycles can be ridden) have the following sign. (below, left)


If you don’t see this sign on the sidewalk, the law states that bicycles must be ridden on the road (unless you’re a child or a senior.) You’d be surprised at how many sidewalks don’t have this sign and are pedestrian-only, even though it seems everyone rides their bikes through these areas. Technically, all those riders are breaking the law.

The sign on the right is “pedestrians only”, but with the added “bicycles allowed” sign. Confused yet?

#14 is even trickier. This is a blanket rule left to the discretion of the police officer. Stuff like using headphones or riding two or more abreast fall under this rule, which makes sense. The tricky part is how strictly the police will interpret this rule, though. There are a lot of lesser known rules that are in the traffic safety rule book. One of them is the restriction to the overall width of a bicycle, which must be under 60cm. Say that a cop measures the width of your bike and finds it to be over 60cm (road bikes won’t be a problem, some hybrids and MTB’s will be), he/she is obligated to ticket you for riding an unsafe bicycle. Another law is the one concerning bells. All bicycles are required to have bells. Easy enough. But using this bell in an unlawful manner may get you ticketed. Technically, bells are not to be used to move pedestrians of out your way. So then what are bells for? The traffic safety cop I asked said they are to be used to warn other cyclists or cars(!?), not pedestrians.

My advice? There’s too much that’s unclear at the moment, like how serious the policing will be and how long it will continue. Until we know more, my advice is to BE CAREFUL. Especially if you happen to be of a certain group of people living in Japan that tend to stick out and are sometimes targeted by certain (a–hat) members of law enforcement.

Thanks for reading and more importantly…
come tomorrow, Good luck and be careful!






1. 信号無視
2. 通行禁止違反
3. 歩行者用道路徐行違反
4. 通行区分違反
5. 路側帯通行時の歩行者通行妨害
6. 遮断踏切立入り
7. 交差点安全進行義務違反等
8. 交差点優先車妨害等
9. 環状交差点の安全進行義務違反
10. 指定場所一時不停止等
11. 歩道通行時の通行方法違反
12. ブレーキ不良自転車運転
13. 酒酔い運転
14. 安全運転義務違反







では、これからどうすれば良いでしょう? 今回の改正と取締強化がどこまで本気になるかは未明です。あと、過去の改正の様な強化月間的に6月中だけか、6月以降も続くかも未明です。僕は、色々の疑問や未明な所が少しづつ明らかになるまで、気を付けるしかないと思います。


February 22, 2015


Demo saddles now available at the shop.
• Fizik Tritone 5.5
• ISM Adamo Attack
• ISM Adamo Time Trial

Currently, the saddles I have available for testing are all Tri/TT oriented. Besides the three models listed, I plan on adding a couple more in the future. As for road oriented saddles, I don’t plan on stocking them as there are too many to choose from, but more importantly there are plenty of nearby shops that also offer this service. If you need more info on these shops, please ask.

My rental process is pretty simple. For current customers, it’s free and you can borrow the saddle for a week or two depending on demand. For new customers, please call or email.

Reservation requests can be sent to the shop. Thanks!



Fizik Tritone

• Fizik Tritone 5.5
• ISM Adamo Attack
• ISM Adamo Time Trial




January 9, 2015


Before it gets too late… Happy New Year!

The biggest news so far this year is that ALPHA is now an authorized SCOTT dealer. Pictured above right is a customer frame that just came in yesterday, a 2015 SCOTT Plasma Team Issue. No doubt that Sebastian Kienle’s 1st place at Kona influenced this decision.

The above frame is a Tri/TT frame, but I am able to order any of their other road, MTB or hybrid/cross bikes as well. For a complete list of the bikes and frames available in Japan please follow this link:

For the English page, please use this link (but please be aware that not all models or sizes are available in Japan):

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy 2015!


あまりに遅れる前に・・・ 明けましておめでとうございます!

新しい年になりまして、新しい取引が出来ました。今年からSCOTTの販売店になりました。第1号のフレームは2015年Plasma Team Issueでした。去年、ハワイ島コナで行われたIRONMANトライアスロン世界選手権で優勝したマシーンです。それに影響され、お客さんから注文を頂きました。

トライアスロン/TT以外のフレームや完成車は取り扱っていますが、全ては取り寄せです。当店では完成車などの在庫はございません。詳しい車種とスペックはSCOTT Japanのホームページをご覧ください。


November 30, 2014

Rolf Prima Tdf6 set

A set of test wheels came in yesterday.
These are the Rolf Prima TdF6’s. 1435g total (F:620g R:815g), 26mm rim width, 60mm profile, Enduro ceramic bearings, titanium freehub body… 255,960yen. More details can be found over on their website, here.

I will have these available for test rides for the next couple weeks. If you’d like to try them out, please call or email to book an appointment. Depending on demand, I should be able to lend them out for however long you’d like (hours, days, etc…) The pic on the right is a customer’s Canyon with the wheels installed. (ALPHA bottle… nice touch! Thanks CH!)

Some closeups below…


The Japanese retail price list for Rolf Prima’s entire lineup can be found over at their distributor site, JSK Cycling Force.
(Direct link to .pdf price list is here.)


Oh, and speaking of Canyon… I was lucky enough to be invited to their opening party. (Thank you very much Canyon Japan.) Guest of honor was none other than Joaquim Rodriguez!  They’re still some of favorite looking bikes. One example is the new 2015 Aeroad CF SLX, pictured above left… very nice.

As always, thanks for reading!


Canyon Rolfs

RolfPrima TdF6の試乗ホイールが届きました!
前後セットで1435g (F:620g, R:815g)、リム幅26mm、リム高60mm、セラミック・ベアリング、チタン・フリーボディなど。¥255,960(税込)。詳しいスペックは本社のホームページ(英語のみ)をご覧ください。国内代理店のリンクは後程。


今朝、お客様のCanyon(画像、右上)に装着しまして、そのまま試乗に。週の後半に戻る予定です。(ALPHAボトル搭載! CH様、ありがとうございます!)



Rolf Primaの全ラインアップと価格表は国内代理店、JSK Cycling Forceのホームページへどうぞ。直接に価格表をご覧になられる方はこちらのリンクを使用下さい。


そう言えば、Canyon ですけど、Canyon Japan開設記念パーティーに招待されて、先週行きました。こう言う感じでした。(Canyon Japanさん、ありがとうございました!そして、ごちそうさまでした。)メインゲストは何と、チームカチューシャのロドリゲス選手!Canyonはやっぱりカッコイイと思います。2015 Aeroad CF SLX に一目惚れしました。(画像、左上)


November 15, 2014

I’m in the middle of an update, but it’s taking some time.

One piece of news I have to get out there is that I’ve received a lot of faxes and emails regarding pricing for imported goods for the coming year. Due to the recent weakening of the yen, most of the companies I have contracts with are planning on raising prices by at least 10% starting around the beginning of next year. I just wanted to give everyone notice that if you’re planning on making any big ticket purchases, you might want to do it before the end of the year. If and when I get any news regarding this, I will post updates as soon as I can.

In the mean time, if you have any questions please feel free to email or call anytime. Thanks again.






October 9, 2014


Cervelo’s distributor in Japan had their 2015 show last week. On display was their complete lineup. These are a few of the pics I took. Above is the New P5. I heard there were a couple small changes to frame, but nothing I could notice just by looking. I will have to get more details on this later. The one thing I did notice is that they changed the rear brake shoe bolt on the right side to make it easier to do adjustments. Also, the paint scheme is a lot better in person than in all the pics I’ve seen floating around the web.


Cervelo’s distributor also handles bikes from Lapierre as well as Easton, Masi, Token, etc… Above is the new Pulsium endurance bike with an elastomer for rear suspension. They said it’s good for 3.5mm vertical travel. Hopefully, one of these days I’ll be able to test ride it and compare it to the Trek Domane’s IsoSpeed.
Oooh, and check out the dual position brake bolt spacer. It’s made to accept both short and long reach caliper brakes to fit a variety of tire widths.


Back to Cervelo and the 2015 S5. There’s already been a fair amount of media buzz on this model. If you’re interested in the details, might I suggest the write ups from:


The gist of it seems to be that it’s stiffer and has better aerodynamics as well as a slightly lower riding position compared to the previous model. That’s all great and all, but I was really looking forward to checking out the new handlebar (pictured above right).

Last but not least, some race info…
Oct. 19 Japan Cup Road Race, Utsunomiya
List of scheduled UCI teams is here.
(Trek tweets Cancellara is coming!)
Oct.25 LeTour De France-Saitama Criterium
Full start list here. (Nibali, Froome, etc…)

If you’ve never been to the Japan Cup, it is a definite must-see. The race is held in the forests west of Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture, which is about 150km from Tokyo. (You can get to Utsunomiya Station by bullet train in like 50 minutes.) The course is a 14km loop and they do about 10 laps. This is great because you get to see your favorite riders pass by once like at normal point-to-point road races. The other thing I like it that the racing gets pretty heated and real towards the end.

Oh, if you do go to Utsunomiya, don’t forget to get some gyoza on the way home.

Thanks for reading!


P5 brake

先週、Cerveloの2015年展示会に行きました。全ての車種は揃っていましたが、ここに載せた写真はその一部です。まずはNew P5です。フレームセット等に改良された点はも有るらしいですけど、目視では分からなかったです。ただ、新しいデザインと塗装は実物を見たらカッコイイと思いました。ネットに流れている画像より何倍もいいと思いました。


Pulsium closeup

Cerveloと同時にLapierreも展示していました。上記の画像には新しいPulsiumエンデューランス系の完成車。フレームのシートラグの周辺にエラストマーが入っていて、3.5mmのサスペンション効果が有る。いつか試乗出来て、Trek DomaneのIsoSpeedと比べて見たいですね。





10月19日 ジャパンカップ(宇都宮)
10月25日 TdF-さいたまクリテリウム




September 4, 2014


School started back up this Monday, so my availability Monday through Wednesday will be limited. As always, please call ahead or email to make sure that I’m available. Thanks.

BMC’s Japanese distributor had their 2015 model show in Tokyo yesterday. While that ultra-futuristic concept bike from Eurobike wasn’t on display, they did have all the models they will be selling in Japan. Most interesting was the Cross Machine with Shimano’s new hydraulic road setup.

The rest of the lineup was there too. But from what I could gather by looking at the bikes and talking to the mechanic, there were no changes to the SLR, TM, and TMR framesets. Changes seem to include slight variations on paint and components only. Specific details can been seen over on BMC’s international site and in their 2015 online catalog.

The Japanese distributor’s BMC page hasn’t been updated yet, but the prices have been set. If you’d like more information, please feel free to email or call. As always, thanks for reading.





他の車種、特に上位のグレードのSLR, TM, TMRも展示されていましたが、去年からほぼ継続している感じでした。塗装とコンポーは多少変わっていました。メカと話ながら、フレームには大きい変更や改良は無いらしいです。詳しい設計や装備はカタログに載っていますが、まだ日本語編のカタログは正式に配れてない様です。お待ちきれない方にBMC本社のホームページで2015年の英語版カタログを配信していますが、国内販売のモデルと異なる車種と装備が多数ございます。




August 1, 2014

80mm tubes

Concerning my updates or lack thereof, I’m considering a new strategy. I’m usually more of a quality over quantity type person, but I’m slowly realizing that this probably doesn’t apply to webpages.

This month, I’m post some of the stuff I have available in stock at the shop. Like the above tubes. These presta valves are 80mm long! This makes them useable for deep section aero wheels. Pictured on the left is a comparison between 60mm and 80mm valves on a Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL Wheel with a rim height of 52mm. With the 80mm tube, there’s still about 40mm of valve left. More than enough to attach pump heads from any floor pump. These tubes can easily be used on wheels with up to 60mm rim heights like Zipp 404’s.

These tubes eliminate the need for valve extensions and all the consequent fumbling.  Very easy and very quick.

Price: 1,296yen (tax incl.)

Thanks for reading.




今月は色々当店で常時在庫している商品を紹介したいと思います。まずは、こちらのチューブ。仏式のチューブですけど、バルブが80mmの長さです。最近主流になっているディープリムやエアロ―ホイール用です。左上の画像では、同じMavic Cosmic Carbone SL (リム高:52mm)に60mmと80mmを比べました。80mmのバルブの方が、まだ40mm位の余裕有ります。どんな空気入れでもこのくらい有れば、使えると思います。このチューブはリム高の60mmまで使えます。例え、Zipp 404等。




May 2, 2014

As for the shop hours for this month… I’ve decided to operate the shop on an appointment only basis for the time being. There are numerous reasons for this, but the main one is to try to utilize the customers’ time as efficiently as possible. The other reason, is that I seem to be in and out of the shop a lot more lately, due to meetings (school and otherwise).

I say “appointment only” which sounds pompous, but I really don’t mean it that way. For instance, if you’re out on a ride and have a problem, you can still call or email minutes ahead and make an “appointment”. This is mainly to make sure that I am at the shop and available, and also to check on lead times for repairs or adjustments.

The other advantage for the customer is that I will now accept appointments at odd hours any day of the week.
6am bike pick-up before a ride? No problem.
11pm bike drop-off after work? Again, no problem. (In fact, I work better at night!)

Finally, I will be trying out this appointment only scheduling for the next couple of months. If it doesn’t work out and my customers are inconvenienced by this new policy, I will revert back to normal shop hours. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!








April 3, 2014


The shop will be open normal days and hours for the month of April. Having said that, I still recommend calling ahead to make sure that I am at the shop and available.

I apologize for not updating since February. In all honestly, I’ve been facing writer’s block. In March, I went to a few seminars and also the Taipei Cycle show, but there really wasn’t anything worth writing about that would be of interest to my road and tri oriented customers. This year the floor was pretty much taken over by suspension parts and fat bikes. I guess if I had to choose something cool, it was the new clip on bars from Control Tech and also their kinda new titanium stems.

Hopefully, I’ll be back with something more interesting later on. As always thanks for reading.








February 1, 2014

The shop will be open normal hours throughout the month of February, except for Sunday the 9th. Instead of 12 noon, the shop will open at 3pm.

On to other news…

A couple weeks ago, I attended Shimano’s annual technical seminar in Koriyama. It was a pretty informative session geared totally towards bike geeks. Sure they spent some time reviewing the basics of hydraulic brake systems, but they also talked about stuff like the galvanic corrosion that occurs between different metals, and their new BH-90 brake hose with thicker sidewalls. The seminar lasted about 3 hours and covered the following topics:

• Alfine Di2
• ST-R785 Hydraulic Road STI Levers
• Common Di2 Installation Errors
• BL/BR-987 XTR Brake Improvements
• BH-59/BH-90 Brake Hoses

Some stuff I learned:
• For those that may not know, the Shimano Alfine groupset is for city bikes. It’s main feature is an 11-speed internal geared hub. A few years back the option to have electronic shifting came out, hence the Alfine Di2 moniker. Because it is a city bike and the rider probably prefers convenience over lightweight components, they added a digital indicator (pic here, SC-S705) that displays the selected gear number. Shimano played with this idea for road Di2, with a small digital window in the brake hood, but dropped it before production. But what I didn’t know is that the Alfine Di2 controller is semi-compatible with Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2. If someone really wanted to have a gear indicator on their road Di2 bike they can have it now… but you will lose the ability to adjust the shifting on the fly. I also don’t know why you’d want to add more weight to a road bike, but searching around the web it looks like a bunch of people have been doing this for a while. Who knew?
• Hydraulic road brakes, especially internally routed ones are going to be a pain in the butt.
• Shimano technicians really know their stuff.

I was going to add my Campy EPS internal project, but as this post is getting long, I will add it later. A sneak peek over on the right. →
Thanks for reading.





先々週、郡山市で開催された「2014 シマノ・テクニカルセミナー」に行ってきました。販売店向けの技術講習会ですね。内容はかなり幅広かったです。初心者向きな油圧ブレーキ構造の復習からかなりマニアックな異種金属接触腐食まで語りました。3時間で主に下記の通りの内容でした。
• Alfine Di2
• ST-R785 油圧 STI レバー
• Di2 接続注意点
• BL/BR-987 XTR ブレーキの改善点
• BH-59/BH-90 ブレーキホースの違い

・ もしご存知ではなければ、シマノのAlfineコンポは街乗り自転車用です。一番の特長は後輪に内装11段のハブを使用。近年にこちらの内装11段ハブが電動化のオプションが発売されまして、Alfine Di2が誕生。一応街乗り用ですので、軽量化より便利な機能を追求した所、シフトインジケータ (画像, SC-S705) も搭載。シマノはロードのDi2にもこの機能を試した見たいですけど、最終的に何かの理由でなくなりました。今回のセミナーで初めて知ったですけど、Alfine Di2のインジケータはDura-AceとUltegra Di2に一応使えるらしいです。ただし、変速調整の機能が失う見たいです。店に戻ってネットで検索して見たら、皆さんてもう既に色々いじってるらしいですね。へぇ~。
・ ロードの油圧ディスク作業はかなり時間掛かりそうです。特にブレーキホースがフレームの中に通る事になると。
・ 改めてシマノのメカは製品に対して大変詳しいですね。

これから最近いじったCampagnolo EPSを紹介しようと思ってましたけど、今回の更新が長くなりまして、後程にします。いつも、ここまで読んで頂いてありがとうございます。今後も宜しくお願い致します。

(日本語と英語の文章の長さの違いであまりに空白が残り、ちょっとだけカンパEPS内装プロジェクト見せます。↓ )


January 10, 2014


Somewhat late but, Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2014.

This year’s first sunrise ride was down to Kannonzaki, near Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture. The above picture was taken just south of Kannonzaki Park, looking east over Tokyo Bay and southern Chiba. This was my first time riding around the Miura Peninsula. Honestly, I thought the riding would be better. The route I took had a lot of tunnels and fairly narrow roads. But as it was my first time, I can’t really say anything yet. Over the next couple of months, I plan on visiting the area again. Hopefully, I’ll find some better routes. When I do, I will definitely post them here.

Along those lines, I’ve had a lot of requests from customers about good rides in and around the Tokyo area. As such, I will be adding a “Favorite Rides” section to the webpage which will showcase some of the main rides around the Tokyo area. It will probably be geared more towards people new to Tokyo. The first few rides will probably include standbys like Yomiuri Land, Wada-touge, Takao-san, etc… To keep things interesting though, from time to time I will add a few lesser known rides that I find enjoyable and challenging. If anyone has any suggestions for “must-do” rides, please say so and I’ll add it to the list.

Thanks for reading and have a great 2014!







December 5, 2013

Wow, another year is coming to a close. This month the shop will be open regular days and hours until the 30th. From the 30th the shop will be closed for the New Years’ holiday and be back open on January 4th.

I also apologize to anyone that may have called or come by the shop this past Sunday. I was out of the shop all day doing translation between a Japanese distributor and the president of a cycle clothing manufacturer. I can’t discuss the details yet as nothing is concrete, but hopefully there will be more details and samples to follow. As soon as I hear anything, I will post the news here. Thanks.




November 3rd, 2013

This month the shop will be open normal days and hours. No planned days off or closures at this time.

On to more exciting news…

ALPHA is now an authorized dealer of BMC framesets. 2014 catalogs (Japanese version) are available at the shop, while supplies last. The frames will be sold mostly at printed catalog prices, but I will be able to negotiate the build labor costs. Catalog frame prices (2014 models, taxes not included) are as follows:

teammachine SLR01: 420,000yen
granfondo GF01: 340,000yen
timemachine TM01:  470,000yen
timemachine TMR01: 470,000yen
trackmachine TR01: 550,000yen
teamelite TE01: 350,000yen

Availability and lead times differ according to model. Please contact the shop for more details.

Pictured right is a recent TMR01 build. It was built up with a Campagnolo Super Record EPS group. Normally, the TMR01 frameset is not EPS compatible. As such the above bike was heavily modified for everything to work. Just in case you’re wondering, the build labor including all the modifications cost about 70,000yen (more than double my normal build price of 30,000yen).

Final weight (with everything, bottle cages, Garmin, etc..) 6.75kg. This bike just turned out so beautifully, I had to put it up on the shop page. I hope you agree. Thanks for reading.




先月をもちまして、当店はBMCフレームセットの正式販売店になりました。 2014のカタログも配布していますので、お気軽にお問い合わせください。フレームセットは定価販売の予定です。当店でフレームセットをご購入頂ければ、組み立て工賃は多少値引き出来ると思います。


teammachine SLR01: ¥420,000
granfondo GF01: ¥340,000
timemachine TM01: ¥470,000
timemachine TMR01: ¥470,000
trackmachine TR01: ¥550,000
teamelite TE01: ¥350,000





October 4, 2013

This month the shop will be open usual days, usual hours. The only exception will be that the shop will be closed on Sunday, October 20th, as I will be accompanying some of my students to watch the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race in Utsunomiya, Tochigi.

If you don’t know about the Japan Cup, it’s one the best pro races to watch in Japan as the course is a closed loop with some very good climbing in the middle. Also every year some very popular riders from the Pro Tour come and race as well. In the past people like Basso and DiLuca have come by.

OMG!! I just checked the website, it looks likes Team Sky’s Froome and Porte are scheduled to race! For the other teams that are scheduled to compete, please check here: http://www.japancup.gr.jp/2013/team

All of the above links are in Japanese, with no English available. If you have any questions, or if you’re thinking about attending, please email or call. Thanks!



もしご存知では無ければ、こちらへどうぞ: http://www.japancup.gr.jp/2013/

そして、今年はTeam Skyからフルーム選手とポルト選手が出場する予定です。かなり貴重だと思います。他のチームも出場します。詳しくはこちら: http://www.japancup.gr.jp/2013/team


September 8, 2013

Classes started back up last week. As such, I will have very limited availability Monday through Wednesday. For those of you who may still not know, I teach bicycle mechanics at the Tokyo College of Cycle Design in Shibuya on these days.

This month the shop will be open during the regular shop hours as stated in the above page banner. The only exception is that the shop will be closed on Sunday the 29th, as I will be doing mechanic work at the Murakami Int’l Triathlon.

Also the shop will be closed on July 25, 2020 as I will be busy watching the Olympic Road Race in Tokyo! It looks like the schedule is already set for the Men’s and Women’s Road Race/Time Trial, Track, MTB and Triathlon events. The preview can be seen here (in Japanese only). All the politics aside for a moment… Congratulations to Japan and Tokyo for their winning bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Yea!




最後に、2020年7月25日(土)はオリンピックロードレース観戦の為、臨時休業させて頂きま~す! 2020年のオリンピックの自転車やトライアスロン関連の日程がほぼ確定みたいですね。詳しくはこちらのリンクへどうぞ。本当におめでとうございます!

 August 29, 2013


A few words about the advantages of buying Shimano parts through authorized retailers.

Shimano recently recalled some of its disc brake calipers. (Pictured above are the BR-CX77 replacements for the recalled BR-CX75.)

They sent out a general notice to all the bike shops and media outlets on Tuesday. Then they researched my order history and found that my shop had sold a pair of these brakes at the beginning of the year. They called my shop on Wednesday to confirm that I had received the recall notice, and to inform me that I had indeed sold a pair of the affected brakes and that I should get in contact with the customer. After I told them that I had gotten in touch with the customer and they promptly sent out the replacements which arrived today (Thursday).

Shimano will replace any of the brakes affected by the recall, regardless of where they were purchased (domestically or internationally). But the fact that they were very proactive in contacting my shop, an authorized Shimano reseller, speaks volumes for what a solid company they are. Sure, they sent out a lot of notices which are all over the web, but who actually looks these?

Bicycle Retailer
Cyclowired (Japanese)

I mean, the customer who had bought these brakes is very net-savvy and he missed all these recall notices. If it wasn’t for Shimano calling me to call my customers, I wonder what would have happened?

Thanks for reading.






Velonews (USA)
Cyclingnews (UK)
Bicycle Retailer (USA)
Cyclowired (日本)






August 3, 2013


This month the shop will be open usual days, usual hours. Except for tomorrow (Sunday, 4th), the shop will open around 3pm. In the morning, I’m heading out to Odaiba to watch a couple of my students race in the Wangan Criterium.

July was a very busy month. I built up a bunch of new bikes, built up a couple sets of wheels, did a few bike fits, but mostly it was a lot of upgrading. Campagnolo, SRAM, and of course the new 9000 series Shimano.

Probably the most interesting work, was the splicing of the new Di2 SW-R610 sprinter shifter as pictured above. The standard climber shifter, SW-R600, is just too ugly. So the customer and I played around with the idea of using a set of sprinter shifters and mounting them closer to the stem. The problem was that the cable was too short. So after cutting the cable and voiding the warranty, I went ahead and spliced in some more wire. Finally, I heatshrinked the connections and then installed the switches on the handlebar next to the stem. The end result was a much cleaner cockpit. (above pic, left)

The labor cost for the splicing work alone is 8,400yen. This price does not include parts, or all the other necessary work such as rerouting the brake cables, or rewrapping the bar tape. If interested, please contact me for a complete quote. Thanks for reading!











July 4, 2013

This month the shop will be open, usual days and usual hours. The appointment book is filling up rather quickly, so please email or call ahead for available times for fittings or repairs. Thanks!

On to other stuff… I’m back from the States after finishing RAAM with the team, Crank Addicts 2.

2,962 miles in 7 days, 15 hours and 46 minutes at an average speed of 16mph. Simply incredible. Congratulations to the racers, Jamie and James on their none other than Herculean effort. Also massive thanks to the rest of the whole crew for their invaluable support. A special thanks to Penny for putting up with me all those hours in the car and Ingrid… where do I begin?

More pics from our race can be found over on the Crank Addicts 2 Facebook page.



そして、更新が遅れてすみませんでした。Race Across America (RAAM) とニューヨークの出張から無事に帰国しました。(まぁ、いまだに時差ボケが残っていますけどね。)


私達、チームCrank Addicts 2がアメリカの横断レースを完走できました。2人の選手が4,740kmを7日15時間46分でフィニッシュラインを通過できました。平均時速が25.5km/hでした。どれだけ凄いかは言葉で表しにくいです。2人の超人的な走りにメチャメチャ感動しました。JamieさんとJamesさんへ、改めておめでとうございます。あと、サーポートして頂いた選手以外のチームメンバー達へ、一緒にアメリカを渡って色々感謝しています、そして、ご苦労様でした。


June 18, 2013

During RAAM, I will not be able to update the web page as I’d hoped. But almost daily updates are available on the shop’s Twitter.

In the mean time, here are a couple pics.


The pre-race meeting at the motel in Oceanside, with one of our riders Jamie, far right. (pic, above left)

Jamie’s Garmin 800 at the start line, check out the kms to go! (pic, above right)

Follow the race through live timing at the RAAM webpage. We’re team number T202, Crank Addicts 2! Go, go, go!!!








June 1, 2013


From June 13th through the 27th, the shop will be closed. I will be in the United States doing mechanic work for Crank Addicts. This is a 2-person team that will be racing in the Race Across America (RAAM). The race will start on the West Coast in California on June 15th. The riders will ride non-stop, in shifts, until they reach the East Coast in Maryland. A total distance of about 3,000 miles or 4,800 km. Crank Addicts will be riding and raising charity funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care. More information and other links, such as donations and Facebook, can be found on the team’s website at www.crankaddicts.co.uk.

RAAM has several different team categories, including one-person solo teams. The solo men’s record is just over 8 days 3 hours, back in 1992. The 8-person men’s team record is 5 days 5 hours. (Incredible, considering it’s taken me about the same amount of time to do it alone by car.) These teams and riders come from all over the world. This time around though, there aren’t any Japanese riders or teams. Oh, well. For more information on RAAM, click here.

If I have time, I will try to update this webpage and tweet while I’m on the road. Wish me and the crew, and most importantly the racers luck!




この期間中にチーム・メカニックとして、Race Across America (RAAM, アメリカ横断レース)に参戦させて頂きます。イギリスの2人組チームのCrank Addictsです。2人交代でアメリカの西海岸から東海岸まで自転車で走ります。総合距離はなんと、4,800km見たいです。チームの目標はもちろん完走でが、Marie Curie Cancer Care(ガン患者看護)に募金運動も行っております。詳しくはチームのHPをご覧ください。(英語のみ) www.crankaddicts.co.uk